I consider myself blessed to have secured 3 fantastic jobs so far in my pharmacy career. I am now just a few weeks into job #4. In each case I was able to make a move that was in the best interest of my family and my career, while at the same time being a good fit for the employer involved. I have been a pharmacist for 20 years, and I’m grateful for the opportunities this profession has given me. However, I know that not every pharmacist or pharmacy technician has been entirely satisfied with their career choice or job situation.
Unhappy with your job and thinking about quitting? Read on. This article is about things which, in my opinion, you should think about and do BEFORE you start searching for a new job. Remember, things that start poorly rarely end well. I’m suggesting you take a deep breath, pause and think. Look before you leap. These are some things I think you should consider. I offer these tips from my own experience and observations; little tablets of truth I’ve picked up from the pharmacy floor of life. Some may need to be chewed before swallowed. Write your own prescription if you prefer. Whatever objections you may have, I suspect you will not quarrel with the price.
5 Tips BEFORE Your Pharmacy Job Search:
1) Try to make your current job better
You have heard the saying that “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” That is certainly true when it comes to a job. Some “other” job always seems better at the end of a long, hard day of getting yelled at, over-worked or ignored. But there is a “cost” to changing jobs. There is always a bit of the unknown involved, and to invoke another expression, you don’t want to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. The learning curve in a new job is often huge, and you will go for a long time (possibly) feeling like the “new” person who can’t do things as quickly or easily as others. If you are a valued and reliable contributor in your present job, it is worthwhile talking to your employer about the things you are concerned about. Bring solutions and suggestions. Show the benefit of your ideas. And be generous in your assessment of others. Show yourself to be a team player and positive contributor that can see things from more than one perspective. Don’t jump ship without first trying to turn your present job into your best job. And don’t forget what American business expert and thinker Arnold Glasow once said, “Improvement begins with I.”
2) Expect your job search to be hard work
The job market has changed radically in 20 years since I graduated. Gone are the days (for the most part) where you just handed your resume to someone and they either called you in for an interview or not. Today your typical job search will take months, and many hours of hard work. I have read recently to expect 40 weeks of searching on average, but of course that will vary greatly depending on your career. Booker T. Washington put it this way “Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.” Applying for jobs typically involves extensive online forms and submissions, often without knowing that the job you want is even still available. Since you will be working full-time at your present job, this process will often involve getting up extra early and/or staying up late to research openings and network with important contacts.
3) Keep it to yourself
Listen to these wise words: “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from trouble (Proverbs 21:23).” There is absolutely no good reason to inform your current employer or co-workers that you have begun to look for another job. As I said above, you may be in for a long road ahead. No sense in starting to poison the water you are currently swimming in. I do not believe this is dishonest or unethical in any way. In fact, it will likely do nothing but create an unpleasant atmosphere to talk about your job search at work. Be a professional. The choice to look for another job is a personal one and a serious one. Loose lips sink ships.
4) Talk it over with someone you trust
Face it, other people can sometimes see things that we miss. In the emotional heat of a bad day (or week…or month!) you may not be in the best state of mind to make a life-changing career move. Find someone who cares about you and tell them what you are thinking about. Maybe for you it is a spouse or best-friend. Maybe a parent or pastor. Someone once said “it is less important to have lots of friends, and more important to have real ones.” I know I wouldn’t dream of looking for a new job without talking it through with my very level-headed wife and a couple of close friends at my church who like me enough to tell me when I’m being stupid. If necessary, write out a list of “pros” and “cons” to help you through this conversation with someone.
5) Get organized
If, after working through tips 1-4 you are convinced that searching for a job is the right thing to do, then you will need to prepare for an organized attack. How exactly you do this will be up to you. But prepare to find some method of documenting contacts, phone numbers, email addresses, passwords and calendar items. The beloved Pooh author A. A. Milne said it best “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” At the very least I suggest getting a new notebook in which to journal your efforts. Once you begin to reach out, make contacts, research companies, etc. you will find yourself quickly lost in an ocean of information if you don’t carefully write stuff down.
So, have you done all these things and are now ready to take the leap into a new job or career? Stay tuned. I plan to share what I believe to be the very next step and some of my own personal experiences in an upcoming post.
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